How exactly does one follow up the 2011 hit Batman: Arkham Asylum? How, you ask? How can the travesty of Origins be made up for? Read on to find out.
After playing through all of Arkham City’s side quests (hint: Identity Thief), the series makes its live debut of Hush (as opposed to the Riddler trophy bio from Asylum), who is one of the more interesting Batman villains. Hush, or Thomas Elliot, is a rich childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, who displays sociopathic tendencies even as a child. His father is an abusive alcoholic, and instead of doing anything about it, Thomas’ mother gives him books to read, especially Aristotle. This makes him a cold, calculating individual, with better intellect and strategic abilities than even Bruce. Eventually, he decides to kill his parents and claim their fortune by cutting the brake line of their car. Unfortunately for him, Dr. Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father, manages to save Mrs. Elliot’s life. Hush never forgives Bruce for this, and bides his time to get his revenge, eventually being told that Batman and Bruce Wayne are the same person by…the Riddler, of all people.
This is exactly what the sequel could and should be. Two villains with plenty of resources who have grudges on Batman that are known for their intellect. Make that three, actually. The Scarecrow had a lot of hints to his revenge planted in Arkham City, and is known as one of Hush’s mentors/allies. Three villains who want revenge on Batman. In the Hush storyline of the comics, Hush assembled many of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, including Poison Ivy, who used her powers of seduction to get Superman on her side. If that wouldn’t potentially be a fantastic boss fight, I don’t know what would be.
Another issue that I’d address is the scale of this series. Maybe….dial it down a little. Not every game has to have an even bigger sandbox. Hush has more than enough money to buy a place of headquarters. In fact, he buys a hospital in Heart of Hush to perfect his surgical skills for his plot to change his own face. To keep in short, bring the games back to the more Metroidvania beginnings.
Also, lose the piles of gadgets. Let Batman keep it simple for once. Have doorways be blocked off by bosses rather than lack of the line launcher. Wanna cross path X? Killer Croc is there. No needing to steal Mr. Freeze’s gadgets Megaman style. Otherwise, get good writers that read the comics, good voice actors, and let the Bat-madness begin!